OCMC's Support a Mission Priest (SAMP) program is a long-running and successful ministry that
enables indigenous clergy to bring the Gospel to remote areas of many countries.
St. Augustine, FL. (September 29, 2023) – Among the earliest ministries of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) was to offer financial support to priests serving mission lands. Over the years, this ministry expanded and evolved into a core OCMC program – Support a Mission Priest (SAMP).
Mission priests are essential to the mission work of the Church because they often spread the Gospel in the communities in which they live – and other communities they serve. These places can be remote, having had little or no previous exposure to the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Mission priests also preach in the language of the people receiving the Good News so the ministries they establish align with the culture of the people they serve.
“Mission priests are one of the, if not THE, most effective ways to plant the Orthodox Church in new places,” said OCMC Grants Manager Santhe Loizos.
Today, through the SAMP program, donors pledge $50 a month ($600 per year) - money that is sent to hierarchs who then give stipends to clergy serving in some of the most economically disadvantaged parts of the world. SAMP now provides this vital support to over 550 priests in more than 20 countries.
For example, all four dioceses in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Guinea are receiving SAMP assistance for the first time. In these countries, many people only earn between $7 and $17 a day on average. Reliable and regular SAMP stipends make an impactful difference in the lives and in the dioceses where they serve.
Of the SAMP support his Diocese receives, His Grace, Bishop MARKOS of Kisumu, Kenya, said, “The SAMP program has been assisting and uplifting our Mission in Kenya all along the way. I feel humbly grateful towards all the donors of OCMC for their good-will, because our priests do not fail to receive their monthly allowance from the Diocese, something they need so much.”
SAMP makes the ministries of mission priests possible and ensures that they can continue to care for the spiritual and liturgical needs of their communities.